Staying on course – Keeping your sights set on University

Staying On Course


Reminding yourself time and time again that every social event or 8 hour sleep that you miss is going to be worthwhile can be exhausting. Trust me. Keeping your eyes on the prize for months on end really can become a futile task, but there are a few ways that you can keep your sanity and almost live to tell the tale of how you got the grades you wanted, made your first choice and finally exited the vicious circle that is education before University.


Meet your deadlines

Deadlines exist for a reason. We all hate them, I actually think that if we didn’t have deadlines we would probably get our work done sooner, and better. The fact is, however, that we are usually given deadlines for our work. These deadlines are there to keep us in check, and as much as we hate them they cannot be ignored. Get your work done, and you won’t have to stress over it. Start things with plenty of time to spare, and finish up as soon as you can.


Study as much as you can

Exams are a killer. In fact if you study in the UK count yourself lucky. Some places, like my own Ireland, don’t use coursework based assessment and students have between 6 and 10 exams at the end of their final year that will determine what university they get into. Exams are great though. As much as you might protest about them don’t think of exams as a test of memory, think of them as a test of knowledge. If you are confident, and understand your course exams won’t be a problem. Finally, study how you learn. Youtube videos count as study if they are on the topic!


Relax, dont stress

Alright. So if you are meeting your deadlines, getting your work done well and on time and keeping up on your revision you have the whole assessment covered. But you cant let yourself burn out. If you end up feeling like the whole world is pushing down on you all you will be thinking about is how much you hate learning and that’s not what you hate. You hate feeling like you are learning for someone else. Take plenty of breaks, get good sleep and don’t put yourself out there for anyone else. Do your thing, for you.


That’s everything. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Living in halls or living off campus? 🤔🚗🛌

First things first, Merry Christmas! 
Why I’m writing this post on Christmas day is as baffling to me as it is to you, but here we are!

So I want to talk to you guys about the decision you may have to make about whether to live in halls or to live off campus. This could be an easy decision for some, but if you’re like me, it can be tough and may take a while for you to come to a decision. 🤔

Coming to university as a 22 year old and having the third years still be younger than you is amusing as it is saddening. So the idea of halls for me was a huge NO 🙅🏽. However, everyone I spoke to really urged me to live in halls for the first year. Their reasons were:

  • It’s close to your buildings, classes and the library.
  • It’s way more social living on campus and you’ll meet so many more people than you would living off campus.
  • It’s nice to move away from home for a little bit and learn to be independent.

I’ve already lived away from home and living away from my family is really nothing new to me, so being independent is something I’ve been for a long time. But it is a great way to learn some independence!

I was so against living with people aged 18-20 but I can say with all my trust and confidence it is the best decision I could have made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely the Mum (I prefer ‘older sis’) of the flat, but everyone was right, it’s far more social and you meet some great people. 🥂

It’s nice if you start to feel homesick, or a little trapped, that you can wander into the kitchen and have a cup of tea or watch a movie with someone who is in the exact same boat as you. It really helps.

 It’s also only a 10 minute walk to my building and it’s a great feeling leaving a lecture or seminar and knowing you’ll be back in bed in no time. It’s a short walk to the library or The Hub if you need to get out of halls and need a little time to yourself. 🍃

The decision is, of course, up to you but as someone who struggled with deciding, I would urge you to try it. You have the ability to be put on a transfer list if you’re not happy with your halls or if you wish to change to off-campus, but I would say, try it.

I hope this has helped in some way in making your decision. It’s a hard one and I have to say if you are leaning towards living off campus, there are student houses that are lovely and really close to the University, but living on campus definitely has more pros! Thanks for reading ☺️

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Balancing your time – Work, play and study at Edge Hill University


Balancing time can be a challenge at the best of times. At university you might find you have less than you imagined, especially if you are trying to have a vibrant social life while working a part time job. I wanted to share three tips of mine to try and help you balance your time and keep yourself chilled out so you can be the best version of you.


Keep track

If you are trying to balance the time you have between a few tasks such as work and study you might find it easier if you keep a list or a schedule of the amount of time you have to dedicated to each. Maybe you will find you are spending way to much time on one.


Stick to your plans

If you make plans to do something you should stick to it. Even if that means going out. If you keep to your schedule you will find that you actually get more work done. Just because you go to the library for 6 hours doesn’t mean you get 6 hours work done. Most of the time you spend 5 and a half thinking about what else you could be doing instead.


Enjoy what you do

This is the hardest of them all but the most important. If you don’t actually like what you are doing then why would you ever want to do it. If you are working, work in a way that you like. If you are studying, then study how you enjoy doing it (Pro tip: Watch YouTube videos on the topic). Finally, if you go out then go out how you want. Don’t go to places you don’t want to be and drink what you want, not the strongest cheapest thing there is.


That’s everything. Take these three things and you will be happier, trust me. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally

My journey to Edge Hill and some tips for yours! ✈️👩🏽‍🎓📜

The Proclaimers may be willing to walk 500 miles, but what about 4,056 miles? Granted I didn’t walk from Saudi Arabia, but with it being my home for so long, moving across the world was pretty daunting.

Hi, I’m Amy! 😊 I moved to Ormskirk all the way from Saudi Arabia, it’s been my home for almost 13 years so it’s quite a big change, in routine, culture but most importantly, weather. ☔️

Moving away from home can be scary, even if you only live down the road. I’ve moved around a lot in my life so I’m kind of used to it. However, this was the biggest move so far for me, as I was moving away not only from home but from my family.

It feels like yesterday I was panicking about my personal statement and UCAS application and now I’m 8 weeks into the course and loving it. I miss home every now and again but I love what I’m doing and that makes it worth it. It’s hard in the first couple of weeks having to adjust to the new life and routine but once you get settled in and you meet lots of great new people you’ll start to see why people love uni life so much. It is very unique and something you have to experience. 🍻

Here are some little tips to keep in mind:

1.  Stay calm. 💆🏽 Your personal statement and application are, of course, important but trust in yourself and you will be fine. Try and get to an Applicant Visit Day or Open day and if your desired course requires an interview, make sure your prep for it! The interview process I went through was challenging and I was the most nervous I’ve ever been but stay calm. The staff at Edge Hill are so supportive, you will be fine.

2. Be organised. 🗂 The to-do list is never ending and there’s so much paperwork coming from all over, it can get on top of you if you let it. Grab a file and make sure you keep all the paperwork together. Make sure you meet deadlines for conditions and student finance and any pre-summer work you may be set. It’s good to get a head start on your organisation so you don’t feel too overwhelmed before you even get here!

3. Save and budget. 💰 Try and get in the hang of budgeting before you come to uni. You may save up a nice bit of money during the summer but it goes, fast. There is luckily a lot of work around Ormskirk, as there are so many little cafes and restaurants. Getting a job will be a big help but remember to budget. You may feel like a celebrity when your loan goes in but if by the second week you’re eating noodles three times a day, you need to look after your pennies! Before you move, maybe start to budget so you can get the hang of it!

Well, that is it for the first post of the year.
I’m excited to share my experiences with you all.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions,
we’re here to help!  💕

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Sean’s Random Encounters – Welcome Sunday 2018


Working on Welcome Sunday 2018 as a member of the Campus Life team gave me the opportunity to talk to many of the incoming first years at the university. You would think that this blog would be about freshers moving into halls. Or even a 3rd year returning to a new style townhouse in Woodland Court. But I have a much more interesting person in mind for this month’s edition of random encounters. Michael the student helper.


Image result for edge hill welcome sundayOn Welcome Sunday you will see about 40 or so students running around wearing yellow high visibility vests. Michael was one of these ‘student helpers’. He had given up the last Sunday of his summer to help students move into their on campus accommodation. I had the chance to ask him why.


Image result for edge hill welcome sunday‘I like helping people and I know it was hard for me to start out, so I want to put a smile on someone’s face.’ was the reply when asked why he wanted to work on this stress filled day. He also had no complaints about helping move boxes up and down stairs. ‘Someone did it for me, and i’m doing for them. Circle of life!’


As I thought about the day itself I realised that the student helpers around me were not tired, stressed or burnt out. They were smiling. These people had just spent a full day helping people move into their new homes and it gave most of them a sense of good karma. People like to help other people, and I honestly can say that the people that study, work and volunteer at Edge Hill University are some of the most helpful that I have ever met. The people make the place.


If you want to read more about Welcome Sunday check out my other blog here:

3 Tips for moving to Edge Hill University – Getting ready for Welcome Sunday



That’s all I have for you on this edition of random encounters but if you want to find out more about what to expect on campus you can check out Campus Life at EHU here. And please leave any questions you have for moving in below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Balancing Work and Play

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to term. Sadly, fresher’s week has come to an end for us here… hopefully we still have some energy left for real work! Balancing your workload with your social life can be challenging at times, so here are some tips which help me!

  1. Look after yourself

Most importantly, make sure you don’t get over-tired because that’s you can make yourself ill. Drink plenty of water, exercise and get some early nights! If you are a student living in accommodation on campus, you can get discount on your gym membership which allows access to the swimming pool, fitness classes and all the brilliant equipment.

  1. Turn to a friend

If you find yourself struggling with your workload, or anything else for that matter, there are lots of people to turn to for support starting with your friends. Most likely, your friends will find their work difficult too. The library located in the new Catalyst building also offers services, resources and support. For more information you can visit the Catalyst help desk or ask online.

  1. Treat. Yo. Self.

No matter the amount of work you are given, you should not be working 24/7. Make sure you get some down time too – take a walk in the local park, make a phone call home or have a night out in the SU or Alpine!

  1. Get organised

Poundland sell the ideal academic calendars and diaries for you to plan ahead and write in your exams, assessment dates and social events. Sometimes by writing a to-do list or seeing your weeks ahead down on paper, it can make you feel more at ease and confident going forward – this certainly helps me!

If you have any questions drop me a comment and I will do my best to answer! Speak soon,

Anna 🙂

Linking Education and Life – 5 Real Skills from EHU Computing


With the summer coming to a close, and a week before I move back to Ormskirk, I thought it might be a good idea to share 5 skills that my first year in computing have taught me. Before coming to university I had run m9Networks for about 4 years. I have always had an interest in computing, all aspects of it. Finally starting a specialised course really gave me some skills that I had been overlooking and EHU have influenced my professional career even before graduating. So here are 5 skills that 1st year computing at EHU have taught me and how I used them this summer.


Organization

In my first year of computing, and university in general, I was exposed to a need for organization. I have always been a mixed bag when it came to being well prepared. I have two modes, 100% ready for anything and absolutely nothing done. For the most part I would be the latter. University gave me a chance to really explore my organizational style and see how it makes life easier for me. This summer while working I was able to use this when working on projects with deadlines.


Determination

Something I pride my work on is my determination to get the job done. If I don’t know the answer to a question I will go out of my way to find the answer. Once again, starting university has helped me improve this skill massively. While working at one client site this summer I faced several serious problems that resulted in setbacks. The determination that I had gained while doing reports and attempting to understand more complex coursework in first year gave me the confidence to push through and surpass these problems that came in my way.


Planning and Drafting

One of my modules in my first year of computing was Digital World: Information Systems and Design. The code for this course if you want to check it out is CIS1108. This course focused around designing and implementing IT systems for businesses and customers. One of our tasks included designing a database and network system for a local business. During the summer I was tasked with something similar and was able to almost replay the design process piece for piece.


Networking

Networking is one of my main fields of interest and study. This summer I was involved in some large networking projects with several ISP’s in Ireland that I had previously been involved with. My first year module named Computer Architecture and Networks gave me some valuable information regarding standards and implementation of networks. While some of the information presented to me in this course was not new it does mean that other students who have not experienced networking before we’re covered. So if you’re worried about it being too complicated, don’t.


Security

Finally, the last skill that I was able to take away from University and apply it to my work in the real world this summer was Security. Being security conscious in the every more connected world is important. Very important. In my first year I was taught about basic security and how it relates to threats in the real world. While it is easy to understand and implement very secure passwords, encryptions and physical security the basics are often overlooked. In one of my installs this summer I thought back to my lectures regarding security and included a pamphlet regarding social engineering to the client.


These five skills; Organization, Determination, Planning and Design, Networking and Security that I learned in my first year and I can honestly say they have been a great help.

If you want to check out some of my work you can read about a UniFi network install at a large home in Donegal, Ireland here:

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Stories/UniFi-and-FTTH-Rethinking-LAN-s-in-Ireland/cns-p/2473683

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Welcome Week Wonder

Are you wondering what your first week at university will be like? I certainly did! Welcome week (or freshers week) is the time to make the most of new pals and new places. Welcome week at Edge Hill was beyond my expectations. Not only do you get to enjoy nights out in Ormskirk and the students’ union, you have the option to spend nights out in Liverpool too.

How should I prepare?

You can read about Edge Hill’s welcome week here. On your first day (welcome Sunday) you will receive your student ID card which will allow you entry into the students union on campus. You can also buy wristbands which will get you free entry before 9:30pm on certain days. Beforehand, I also made sure to have an NUS student card which makes entry cheaper on social nights.

How much money will I spend?

The welcome week outline gives you an idea of entry prices. Yoyo is a great app to get as you can earn points in the students union when you buy drinks from behind the bar. With points, you can select vouchers for food, drinks and Edge Hill merchandise throughout the year. If you want to give yourself a budget for each night, I suggest you get the cash out beforehand instead of relying on your contactless card (that can be dangerous!).

What if I don’t want to go out every night?

Of course, welcome week is not all about going out each night; it is about meeting new people and joining new things. Examples of different events in the evenings/nights are as follows:

Board Games

Free Film Nights

Campus Sport Pool Party

Kareoke

Roller Disco

The Stickmen

SU Quiz

What can I do during the day?

I advise that you have an explore! Take a walk into Ormskirk, use the train to get into Liverpool, or simply have a wander around Edge Hill’s beautiful campus. One of the most exciting parts of welcome week is the welcome fair on the Wednesday. This is your chance to learn all about what Edge Hill has to offer, join new societies and, of course, grab all the freebies! Other events are put on each day for you to enjoy such as:

Vintage Folk Clothing Sale

Giant SU BBQ

Campus Scavenger Hunt

DIY Room Decorations

Yoga

The Big Student Resale

When I think of my welcome week (which was waaaay back in 2016) the paint party comes to mind. My flat mates and I were dancing in each others sweat when we hardly knew each other… 2 years down the line, we are closer than ever. As cringey as it sounds, the people you meet will change your life and your university life will change you, SO ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Wishing you all the best of luck! Feel free to ask away if you have anything in particular you would like to know!

Anna 🙂

Driving to Edge Hill University – 400 miles in 8 hours [Part 3]

LK to ORMS


We’re coming to the end of the 4 part blog series on driving from Ireland to England and its been fun sharing my experience with you over the last 4 weeks. I think before I sum up everything that happened in the few days of driving between here and there I should give you 3 more practical tips for driving itself. Just like last week they pretty much apply to any long drive that you undertake.


Related image1. Check your car

Long trips can be hard on a cars engine. Make sure you take spare fluids with you. Water, oil, windscreen fluid etc. When you stop off take a few moments to pop the bonnet and take a look. If you don’t know how to check, read your cars handbook.


Image result for traffic report2. Listen to the Traffic Reports

Traffic reports on the radio will give you a good idea on what is up ahead. You can use this knowledge to pick times to stop and have a break while letting the traffic clear ahead. Make sure you also have a look at roadworks and road closures on your route. Google Maps is good for this.


3. Use a good sat navImage result for sat nav

It might be your phone or a classic Sat Nav. Make sure you have something that is going to give you good, reliable and constant directions to where you need to go. I use my phone paired with Android Auto. It works well.


You can read PART 2 of this blog here:

Driving to Edge Hill University – 400 miles in 8 hours [Part 2]


That its everything for part three of this blog. I’ll post more on my trip with in depth photos and advice tonight in the last part of my blog. And please leave any questions you have for me below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

A-Level Results Day

Receiving your A-level results can be a stressful day for anybody. I remember that day for me a couple of years ago and nerves were flying everywhere! It might work differently for different courses or colleges, however I will share my experiences and try to give any advice that might help! If you have any questions/worries, feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer!

1. Check UCAS before going into your college/sixth form.

I have always liked to have a good lie-in… so when people were waking up in the early hours of the morning I decided just to wake up a little bit later! Unless I happened to wake up earlier, I didn’t feel the need to rush to sixth form immediately to collect the results, as this would make me even more nervous. But obviously, this is a personal thing and going to collect your results as soon as you can may be the best thing for you! The main point however, is to check your UCAS account first. This is where you can see if you have gotten into your first choice university. This will put less pressure on you (hopefully) when you come to opening your results!

2. Think about where you want to open your results.

Do you mind if you find out your grades in the middle of rush and panic? Or do you prefer to find a quieter space with a family member? Maybe consider opening them once you have gotten back to the car! Whatever you do… stay calm and focus on yourself.

3. Life goes on.

If you do not receive what you expected or what you would have liked, that is OKAY. How can we celebrate achievements if we never get drawbacks right? Wherever your university or career path leads you, you will realise the importance of focusing on your next steps rather than dwelling on the past. Be resilient and be proud of your grades without comparing yourself to others.

I hope these few tips will make you feel more at ease. Don’t let anything or anyone dishearten you – you are brilliant! Most of all… GOOD LUCK!

Anna 🙂